Brett Shook Brett Shook
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
Assistant Professor of Dermatology (Secondary)

Office Phone: 202-994-1285
Email: Email
Department: Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine


  • B.S. Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, 2000
  • Ph.D., University of Connecticut, 2012


Dr. Shook joined George Washington University’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine in 2019 as an Assistant Professor.

Throughout his career, Dr. Shook has explored cellular and molecular pathways that coordinate tissue repair and become dysregulated under pathological conditions. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut, where he investigated age- and injury-related changes in adult neural stem cells and their niche. As a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Valerie Horsley at Yale University, he continued exploring tissue maintenance and repair, but changed his focus to mammalian skin. His work revealed functional cellular heterogeneity within fibroblasts and macrophages in skin wound beds. Additionally, his work has identified distinct molecular interactions between skin resident mesenchymal cells (adipocytes and fibroblasts) and immune cells that promote successful inflammation and repair after injury. At GWU, Dr. Shook’s research focusses on communication between skin resident adipocytes and immune cells during tissue inflammation, regeneration and cancer.

Lab Website


Irregular immune responses are a leading cause of impaired tissue repair and tissue dysfunction. Development of new therapeutics has been challenging due to an incomplete knowledge of cellular and molecular interactions that coordinate successful immune responses and subsequent repair. Studies of the visceral and subcutaneous adipose depots have shown that adipocytes powerful regulators of local immune cell numbers and behavior; yet we know very little about how adipocyte in other tissues and organs interact with the immune system. Using skin as a translationally relevant model system, Dr. Shook’s research is focused on investigating how adipocytes contribute to the immune response 1) after injury and 2) under pathological conditions associated with immune cell infiltration.
Dr. Shook’s research program is designed to be highly collaborative, taking advantage of strengths from multiple disciplines. The ultimate goal of his research is to uncover molecular pathways that can be manipulated to develop therapeutic and predictive clinical tools.


New York Stem Cell Foundation – Druckenmiller Fellow (2015-1018)


Dr. Shook has been actively involved in teaching and mentoring throughout his career. He taught in numerous laboratory and lecture-based courses during his graduate and postdoctoral training, earning a prestigious Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award from the University of Connecticut in 2011. As a research mentor, Dr. Shook has directly trained and supervised more than 20 graduate and undergraduate students. While at George Washington University, Dr. Shook will continue to actively participate in educating students and trainees at various career stages.

Industry Relationships and Collaborations

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported a financial interest with the health care related companies listed below. These relations have been reported to the University and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts.

  • None